New York Traffic Ticket Frequently Asked Questions

Author: Adam H. Rosenblum Esq. | Last Updated:

Q: How Do I Answer My New York Traffic Ticket?

A: Your NY traffic ticket will have boxes indicating whether you would like to plead guilty or not guilty. Select the appropriate box and mail it to the court address on the bottom. Once they receive your ticket, they will tell you:

  • what day and time your court appearance is
  • where your court appearance will be held
  • whether you are required to appear even if you pled guilty

If you hire an attorney, your attorney can fill out the ticket correctly for you.

Q: What Happens if I Ignore My NY Traffic Ticket?

A: Ignoring any type of NY traffic ticket is serious and extremely risky. If you ignore your traffic ticket, a bench warrant can be issued for your arrest and your license will get suspended. We cannot stress this enough: Timely respond to your tickets! It can be the difference between spending a night in jail or sleeping comfortably at home.

Q: Can I Fight a Traffic Ticket on My Own?

A: Yes, but it is not advised. The law affords you the right to represent yourself with or without a lawyer whether you have familiarity with the legal system or not. However, the overwhelming majority of people who hire attorneys find themselves, getting more favorable results, waiting less time on line, and leaving the courtroom happier than those who represent themselves.

We can produce results. But don’t take our word for it. See our reviews from our past clients.

Q: What is a supporting deposition?

A: A supporting deposition is a written declaration detailing the traffic violation and it is signed by the police officer who issued the ticket. Many police officers and state troopers automatically provide a supporting deposition at the time the ticket is issued. If the police officer did not give you a supporting deposition, you can request one within 30 days of the court appearance noted on you traffic ticket. If you are charged with a misdemeanor such as DWI or reckless driving you can request a deposition up to 90 days before your court date, with permission of the court.

Q: How to Fight A New York Traffic Ticket?

Q: Should I Order a Copy of My Driving Record?

A: Yes. It is a good idea to order a copy of your driving record every couple of years. Doing so will:

  • help you keep track of how many points you have racked up
  • help you see if you are nearing the threshold for being suspended
  • allow you to verify that no extra points were inadvertently added onto your license (due to clerical errors, etc.)

Q: Should I Make a Discovery Request?

A: This depends on your unique situation. If you honesty believe that you were going the speed limit when you were ticketed for speeding, it might be a good idea to request the radar readout or other evidence indicating what your speed was. However, do not ask the officer for it while you are being cited for speeding. Make a formal discovery request to the prosecutor. Obtaining discovery is also vital in DUI/DWI cases because skilled lawyers can usually use the evidence to your advantage. Nevertheless, if you are dealing with a routine traffic offense, filing a discovery request will usually not be necessary.

Q: Will a Defensive Driving Course Reduce the Number of Points on My License?

A: Yes. If you elect to take a defensive driving course, up to 4 points can be reduced (not removed) from your New York driver’s license. Read our page on New York’s Point & Insurance Reduction Program for more information.

Q: My Speedometer was Broken, Can I Get Out of the Ticket?

A: Unfortunately, no. Simply having a defective/broken speedometer will not be enough to get your ticket dismissed outright. However, it certainly can be used as a valid defense to get a favorable plea bargain. Moreover, it may convince a judge to be more lenient when doling out fines in the event that you do not accept or are not offered a plea.

Q: Can I Get a Ticket From a Police Officer Who is Outside His Jurisdiction?

A: Not usually. Generally, an officer will be given the authority to ticket drivers in one specific jurisdiction. However, there are “interagency agreements” allowing police officers to exercise authority outside their jurisdiction. If this exists, then you can receive a ticket from an out of jurisdiction officer. Regardless, it is imperative to understand that the officer who observed the violation and issued your ticket is really the only person who can testify against you. Remember, the likelihood of an out of jurisdiction officer appearing to testify against you at your trial is rather remote.

Q: If I Get a Ticket From Another State, Will NY Find Out About it?

A: Probably. Almost every state has signed onto the Driver’s License Compact, which is an agreement among all member states to share driving records and information with one another. Moreover, if you received a ticket in Ontario or Quebec, New York not only will find out about it, but it will also assess points accordingly.

However, a minority of states have not signed onto the Compact. As of now, the following five do not share driving records or information:

  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin

Therefore, if you receive a ticket in one of these five states, it is unlikely that NY will find out about it.

Q: What are the Differences Between a Suspended, Revoked, and Canceled License?

A: Having your license “suspended” involves a temporary withdrawal of your driving privileges. After a certain duration of time, your driving privileges will be restored. A “revocation” involuntary ends your driving privileges and is much more permanent. If your license is revoked you will not be permitted to drive again unless the law gives you an opportunity to reinstate your license. If you “Canceled” your license, you voluntarily gave up your driving privileges without suffering a penalty. If your license was canceled, you can reapply for a new one immediately.

Q: If My Ticket Got Dismissed, Will it Still Appear on My Driving Record?

A: Yes. Your driving record will reflect that you got the ticket and that it was dismissed. However, this will not lead to any adverse consequences (i.e. your insurance will not go up, etc.).

Q: How Long Will it Take Before My Insurance Company Finds Out About My Tickets?

A: It honestly depends on a host of factors. Some insurance carriers check records as often as every month. Others only check high-risk drivers that often. Generally, it depends on your age, prior driving history, and the type of car you own. However, almost every insurance company will find out at the time of renewal, which is usually every 6-12 months.

Q: Will My Driving Record Be Cleared When I Turn 18?

A: No. Contrary to popular belief, juvenile traffic offenses will not automatically be expunged when you become an adult. Consequently, you need to be proactive and file for an expungement. Otherwise, these offenses will remain on your record. Be careful! Do not allow your juvenile record to haunt you when you grow up. If necessary, contact an experienced New York traffic ticket attorney who can help you fight to expunge those juvenile offenses.

For a free consult, call 1-888-883-5529 or send us an e-mail. We’d love to help you out.

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